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PSV and Sporting Lisbon Favored to Qualify From UEL Group D

PSV's Phillips Stadium
PSV's Phillips Stadium will be playing host to Europa League football this season, with the Dutch giants favorites to win Group D. Photo by TaraO (Wiki Commons) [CC License]
  • New Europa League group stages about to begin
  • PSV and Sporting Lisbon favorites to qualify
  • Rosenborg a good bet as outsiders

The Europa League 2019-20 group stage kicks into gear next week and so we at SBD are looking at each group individually to try and identify if the favorite is worth a bet to win. We’ll dig into if there’s upset potential within the group, which two teams will qualify and who offers the most value.

UEFA Europa League 2019/20 – Group D Odds

Team Odds to Qualify Odds to Win Group at BetOnline
PSV -350 +120
Sporting Lisbon -300 +130
LASK Linz +200 +700
Rosenborg +250 +1000

*Odds taken on 09/12/19

PSV and Sporting Lisbon both have European pedigree going back many years and so are hot favorites to progress, but can the two minnows give them a scare?

PSV

The Eindhoven club were expecting to be strutting their stuff in this season’s Champions League, having missed out on the Dutch title last season by just four points, but instead have to make do with Europe’s second-tier competition.

Whether this will affect their mindset going into the new Europa League, only time will tell, but we do expect them to have enough to qualify from Group D. Having finished just three points behind last season’s Eredivisie winners, Ajax, they went straight into the second Champions League qualifying stage but missed out on the competition proper after losing out to FC Basel over two legs on away goals.

PSV have had a difficult summer, with winger Hirving Lozano, Luuk de Jong and Angelino all departing for significant sums and although they have brought some new faces in, they don’t look to have strenghtened their squad overall. But, they should have enough to make top two and qualify for the knockout phase.

Sporting Lisbon

While they may not have the gravitas of PSV, Sporting have extensive experience in European competition and have made two finals –  the Cup Winners’ Cup Final back in 1964 and the UEFA Cup (the predecessor to the Europa League) in 2005.

As recently as 2017-18 they were competing in the Champions League group stages, albeit they finished third and ended up in the Europa League, and last season they made it out of the Europa League group stage – from a group that included Arsenal, Qarabag and Vorskla Pontava. Unfortunately for them, their journey ended in the round-of-32 when they lost on aggregate to Villarreal.

Over the summer, like PSV, they saw some big names depart, including Raphinha and Thierry Correia, and didn’t spend the money they received on replacements. Therefore, it’s fair to assume their current squad is a little weaker than the one that finished last season third in the Primeira Liga. They have enough to qualify again for the knockout phase, but this will be a battle for them.

LASK Linz

LASK are an Austrian soccer club, from the Upper-Austrian state capital Linz, who play in the Austrian Football Bundesliga – the top tier of Austrian football.

They are not regulars on the European stage but have made their mark in the past, most notably in the second round of the 1985-86 UEFA Cup when they managed to beat European giants Inter Milan 1-0 at home before eventually bowing out of the competition 4–1 on aggregate.

The club’s greatest success came way back in 1965 when they won the Austrian League, a season in which they also won the Austrian Cup to complete the domestic double. Until that season, no club outside Vienna had ever won the Austrian League. before.

Since then, the closest they have come to glory was last season when they finished runners-up in the top division behind RB Salzburg, although they did win the Austrian Second Division in 2017.

It remains to be seen if they have enough to challenge PSV and Sporting Lisbon but at just +200 to finish in the top two, the bookies think they have a chance. Their home form will be absolutely vital to their chances.

Rosenborg

Rosenborg are a  Norwegian club from Trondheim that plays in their top division – the Eliteserien. The club have won a record 26 leagues titles, 12 Norwegian Cups and significantly have played more European matches than any other Norwegian team.

They have participated in the group phase of the Champions League 11 times, eight of them consecutively between 1995 and 2002.

On two occasions they have progressed beyond the first group stage of the Champions League – in 1996–97 and 1999 -2000, when they were beaten by AC Milan and  Borussia Dortmund respectively. Other highlights include a 2–0 win against Real Madrid and a 5–1 victory over Olympiacos, both in 1997–98.

In the current, they remain one of Scandinavia’s top teams and as Norwegian champions, they qualified for the Champions League, only missing out on the competition proper by virtue of losing to Dinamo Zagreb in the final playoff game. Although fourth favorites, they musn’t be discounted here and there are worse bets than the +250 for them to qualify.

My picks: PSV to win the group (+120) and Rosenborg to qualify (+250)


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